Maybe it's because I don't run barrels competitively, but what do you mean you want it for turns? Do you need strong contact to execute a tight turn? You should be able to deepen your seat, get your horse on his haunches to lighten the front end and neck rein the turn, in theory. Do you have a really solid turn on the haunches (with neck reining)?
Personally (and don't take this the wrong way!) I would never use a jointed shanked bit, period (in my mind they seem a little confusing!), let alone a jointed shanked bit with a twist. I'm very simplistic with bits, though... 95% of the time I'm in a double jointed snaffle and when I'm showing or prepping for a Western show I'm in a low port short shank curb. I am a firm believer that putting in the time for training is way better than relying on a bit to improve performance.
Barrel racing is done at such high speed and the horse has to keep his shoulder up and flex through his entire body, so it is seldom accomplished well by neck reining. Some horses need help keeping a shoulder up while others approach a barrel so fast that they need help shifting their weight back without slowing down too much. Specialized bit can help a lot.
Some high level barrel horses can run in a simple snaffle and no tie-down while others need a lot more help. Some needed a lot more slow foundation work when they were first trained while others are very well trained, have a very good foundation but still need help maneuvering at full speed.
As long as specialized bits are not used INSTEAD of training, there is nothing wrong with most of them. If a rider's hands are harsh and uneducated, no bit is mild enough to work well for very long.
If a horse gets belligerent and refuses to go into an arena or consistently 'blows' a barrel, look for pain, bad riding or bad equipment. If the horse works well and does his job good, then the bit or the rider is not a problem. They will tell you when something is not working. If a rider starts having new problems, the answer is not immediately jumping to a different bit.
When someone is 'horrified' by a bit like most of those shown, it usually means they have always ridden in a different specialty and do not understand how different bits help accomplish different things. People should not be so quick to condemn something they know little about. They should explore the the entire specialty first.
I have rodeoed and shown horses all my life and have learnt this along the way, bits are only as horrible as you make them. When used correctly no bit is harsh. I ride my roping horse in a chain bit with 6 in shanks he responds better in that. While my barrel horse I have to ride in a metel hack twisted wire gag bit because she responds to nothing else. If your horse works well in that bit and the bit is not abused it is fine to use. And I would use it no matter what anyone says unless the rule book says its an illegal bit Posted via Mobile Device
I see nothing wrong at all with that bit, especially with the mouth piece you are going to choose. It is in fact a light bit.
In reference to what someone said about the bit being in the middle of the shank, it is a lifter bit. The more purchase the bit has (Distance from top of the shank to mouthpiece) the more lift the bit has. It lifts up on the cheek and helps keep the shoulder up.
I like keeping bits for different events separate. I run my mare in a different bit that is actually lighter than the bit I rein and do pattern classes in. It is softer mouthpiece, shorter shank, with a tiny gag for some give in the cue. My bit for reining, when it goes on, she says "Yes ma'am, I'll go slow ma'am!" Every time, because she knows what it means.
I would not have been horrified by that bit at all, though I don't particularly like the twisted mouth aspect of it (but I'm not a fan of twisted bits in general because they are so seldom used properly).
Actually, it's not a harsh bit at all. Because of the location of the mouth on the length of the shank, it's not so different in pressure ratio from a regular snaffle. It appears that the shank itself (the part below the mouth) is just slightly longer than the purchase (the part above the mouth), so it might have a 1:1.5 pressure ratio (for every ounce you pull, she feels 1.5 ounces). The biggest difference there is that this bit will allow you to be more efficient in encouraging the horse to break at the poll better and to pick up her shoulders.
LOL, when I first opened this thread and when I first read "7 inch shanks", I was thinking something more like this though, and that did sort of make me cringe. I'm glad that I was wrong.
I think that if you can find it in a smooth dogbone (or maybe even something like #182 on that same page with a dogbone), the only difference I would make is to get a leather curb strap to put on it. I'm not a huge fan of the full chain curbs...there's just not any give to them at all.
Don't mean to hi-jack the thread, but can ANYONE tell me what in the world someone would need a bicycle chain for a mouthpiece for? Or as a noseband?
Honestly in my opinion, there is NO reason to need a bicycle chain bit. They are a device meant to skip over proper training techniques and are extremely harsh, especially in the wrong hands. I unfortunately admit to owning a bicycle chain draw bit, and haven't used it since the first year I bought it. I was referred to it by a barrel racing instructor years ago for a very stubborn horse and was quite young and didn't know better. All it ended up doing was slicing her tongue and the sides of her mouth up and pissing her off..... DUH!
It makes me sick that trainers and/barrel instructors still tend to recommend these bits. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason to need these.